Chapter 2 : Toast to that
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Josh was sitting at the table behind her, also looking at her reflection in the mirror. He always thought she was pretty, but never considered her girlfriend material. She was five years older than him and even now the age difference made things between them awkward sometimes.
Maddie was doing her makeup when she asked yet another question. It's all she's been doing today, asking Josh questions about Hogwarts and his friends and people she was about to meet.
“So, you said you got permission from the Minister of Magic, who agreed because you happen to know...?”
“Ginny Weasley. Well, I know Luna Lovegood, we were in the same House at Hogwarts, only she was three years ahead of me. And she knows Ginny who is dating...”
“Wait, I know this one! Ginny is dating her brother’s best friend, Harry Potter. The one who defeated You-Know-Who four years ago. So who's gonna be there anyway?”
“Them for sure, Luna said she would introduce us to Harry and his friends. She really wants to meet you.”
“Is she your girlfriend or something?” said Maddie who looked at the mirror reflection to see Josh’s reflection and see how he reacts. Not because she was jealous, but simply curious. She always thought of him as someone delicate and fragile, but she could not ignore the fact that he got really handsome and girls were paying attention to him.
“No, nothing of that sort. We are just very good friends.”
There was a moment of silence when Maddie got back to applying mascara and Josh stood up and looked out of the window. The girl lived in a nice one-bedroom apartment, but in a very bad neighborhood. Considering her job and how little she was making she couldn't afford a place in a better district.
They were leaving for the Quidditch World Cup in a couple of hours. She told her boss she was advised by the doctor to take a few weeks off because of some imagined spine pains. Not that anyone can verify if the pains are real or not. Point is, it got her off of work for a month. Wherever she was going no one will be there to report back on her, so she thought her plan was rather genius.
“Are you packed?” asked Josh, though by looking at the room he could thought he already knew the answer. Clothes were still drying, including some of her favorite dresses. “Are you taking these with you?” he asked, pointing at the wet clothes.
“Of course! They just need a couple more hours to get dry. What time do we leave?”
“In a little more than two hours.”
“Well,” said Maddie, folding summer shorts and shirts and putting them in a suitcase of a very impressive size. “We are going to be away for three weeks and it’s summer, you know I have the nicest and sexiest summer clothes and I hardly ever wear them. So yes, I'm taking the dresses, so we are gonna have to wait a bit longer.”
Josh bit his lip at the word “sexiest”. Even though he had no feelings for Maddie, he felt uncomfortable that she would want to look sexy for anyone, but he didn’t mention it.
“We can't wait for a couple more hours, we have a Portkey scheduled for us, we can't miss it.”
“Not sure what a Portkey is, but if you miss a bus, you can catch another one,” Maddie said calmly. Josh could see she was determined, so when she went to the bathroom he waved his wand at the clothes and dried them. He never performed magic in front of her, never even showed her his wand he carried in his jeans back pocket. He didn’t want to scare her off last minute. An hour later Maddie picked the dresses from the dryer and with look of triumph in her eyes she packed them in the suitcase.
“Told you they would get dry by the time we leave,” she said, which made Josh smile, but without saying a word he took her suitcase and followed Maddie to the door.
“Where's your stuff?” she asked, because all Josh was carrying (besides her enormous suitcase) was a small backpack.
“With me, don't worry about it, I'm not bringing much stuff with me.”
They left the apartment, Maddie checked twice if she locked the door and told Josh to remember that she did. She would often come back to her apartment from work just to check if the door was closed. There was no coming back for three weeks now.
“OK, let's do this!” Maddie said surprisingly cheerfully and went down the stairs. Josh followed her, but before he waved his wand at Maddie's suitcase to make it lighter.
Josh led her a couple blocks away from where she lived and turned to a dark, nasty looking street.
“We are here!” he said as he put down the luggage on the ground.
Maddie looked around. They were in a narrow little street between two buildings. There was nothing here, except for a couple of old boxes and something that looked like a dirty old blanket.
“Are you kidding me? Was this some kind of a joke all along? Where did you hide the cameras, because I really wanna show you what I think about this fucking joke,” Maddie got really mad and was just spinning around looking for a hidden TV crew.
“It's not a joke,” Josh said quickly, because knowing Maddie she could just storm off right this second.
“The blanket is our Portkey. It had to be located somewhere quiet and had to be a thing that Muggles wouldn't want to touch. We have to grab it and then we disappear, so imagine what would happen if two people disappeared in front of a crowd. I would never, ever lie to you,” he said quietly. Maddie crossed her arms on her chest, still not convinced but also ashamed she just accused her best friend of being a liar. Or at least a very bad joker.
“Ok, I'm sorry,” she said finally. “So you say we touch it and then we disappear to where? And how?” realizing just now that what is about to happen will probably be very scary and weird. But also the most exciting adventure of her life.
“Well, I'm not exactly sure how it works, but once we are up there do not let go of the blanket until I tell you to. OK, it's about time, grab your suitcase. Ready? Touch the blanket!” he shouted the last words. Maddie put her fingers on dirty fabric and felt as if someone grabbed her from behind around the waist and pulled up. She held her breath and wasn't even capable of screaming. She had never experienced anything like this before. Even though she was very scared, she held on to the suitcase and blanket with the other hand so hard she thought she won't be able to stretch her fingers again. She didn't have time to actually think or analyze what was happening now, when she heard Josh's voice.
“Ok, let go of the blanket and suitcase on 1, 2, 3... NOW!”
Maddie closed her eyes and finally let a scream out when she started to fall. It wasn't a fast fall and didn’t last long, but landing on her back still hurt her like hell. She opened her eyes just to see Josh sort of walking down from the sky with her suitcase in his hand.
“Congrats, you are now officially more graceful than me,” Maddie said still lying on her back. Josh offered her a hand and helped her up. Maddie started rubbing her back, but she very quickly forgot about the pain when she looked around and saw where she landed. They were on the top of a hill and down in the valley she could see a huge stadium and an even bigger camp below it.
“So how was it?” asked Josh, but Maddie just shushed him. The view was amazing; it was like a completely different world. So many colors and so many people everywhere. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It was, after all, her first vacation in two years.
“It’s great,” she said after a few minutes. “Ok, where to now?”
“To the camp” said Josh, who grabbed Maddie’s hand and led her down the hill.
The crowd of wizards in colorful robes was getting bigger and bigger as they were approaching the huge camp everyone was staying at. It took them 20 minutes to find their tent. It was very small, hardly two people could squeeze in it. When Maddie saw it, she just raised her eyebrows and asked where her tent was.
“Just wait and see,” said Josh and invited her to look inside. Maddie bend down and entered their tent. “And believe in magic” Josh added quietly. Then he heard his friend scream and after few moments she was out, with her eyes wide open.
“What the fuck? How is this even possible?” she screamed and ran around the tent. “It has two bedrooms and a kitchen, but it looks so tiny on the outside. Josh, this is amazing!” Maddie turned to him with the prettiest smile. She had a tiny gap between her front teeth, which she hated with all her heart, but Josh always thought that without this tiny gap Maddie wouldn’t be herself. But the stupid gap was also the reason why she would rarely smile with her teeth. He followed her as she entered the tent again. It was indeed a very nice place, with windows on both sides, two bedrooms on the right and a nice bright kitchen. Each of the bedrooms had their own bathroom, nothing fancy, but comfortable enough for a three weeks stay.
“The bedrooms are exactly the same, so pick whichever you want,” said Josh and put her suitcase on the floor. “I’m gonna arrange the kitchen for us.” He took off his backpack and started taking out plates, cutlery, cups, and mugs. He even arranged for a box that was filled with ice that never melted and put some beers and white wine in there. Maddie came in and opened her mouth widely.
“How is this kitchen full if 15 minutes ago there was nothing but empty cupboards?” Josh opened his mouth to answer her, but Maddie interrupted him. “Right, magic. I’m never going to get used to it!” Josh was glad to see she wasn’t scared as the first time he told her about who he was; now she was very curious of everything magical. It made Josh happy, because there was so much he wanted to show his friend and it would be hard to be in a camp full of wizards with a girl who is scared of everything around her.
“Wine?” he asked her, but already knowing the answer he poured a glass of Maddie’s favorite dry wine. She couldn’t stop smiling.
“I would like to make a toast!” Maddie climbed on a chair, “to the best holiday of our lives!”
Everything you recognize belongs to JK Rowling. Everything else is my precious :)
Updated on February 21, 2015: the chapter was beta read by fairytalelover3 - thank you so much!
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